Sunday, June 24, 2007
From Khalid Amayreh in East Jerusalem
"Ismael Haniya, Prime Minister of the democratically-elected Palestinian government, on Sunday said a treasonous faction within Fatah, a clear allusion to the Muhammad Dahlan's group, had been hatching plans and amassing arms to thwart the Makka Agreement and overthrow the Palestinian national unity government. In a comprehensive and prolonged speech that lasted nearly two hours, Haniya said he had warned Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas that an American-backed and American-armed coup was being hatched by "the treasonous faction."
Haniya said the that the real dichotomy was not between Fatah and Hamas, but rather between the Palestinian people on the one hand and the Israeli occupation of Palestine and enduring oppression and persecution of the Palestinian people, on the other.
The following are excerpts of the speech:
"I want to tell the sons and daughters of our great people: We will not allow internal problems and differences to overshadow the central problem, the Zionist occupation of our homeland.
"The Israeli regime is now trying to manipulate the latest events to achieve certain goals. They are pouring money (on the Abbas regime) and releasing the customs revenue money. They are trying to bribe the Palestinian people into submission. At the same time, they are tightening the blockade on Gaza, and organizing summit conferences, and above all of this, they are continuing to detain our people, such as Sheikh Saleh al Aruri, who spent 15 years in Israeli jails.
"Needless to say, all of this is intended to enable Israel to be the ultimate mover of events, the master of the situation.
"However, I would like to point out that I am not against the releasing of our arrogated money, this is a natural right, and I am not disturbed by this. However, I hope that this matter should not be subjected to political blackmail and that the money should go to all Palestinians without discrimination."
America and Israel won't give you nothing
Haniya addressed Arab leaders, including PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who are going to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Sharm al Sheikh on Monday.
"Don't immerse yourselves in this illusion, and don't harrow after the mirage. America and Israel will not give you anything. Don't harrow after the mirage, thinking that it is water. The Americans won't give you anything, the Israelis won't give you anything. Our usurped homeland will not be recovered except through steadfastness and resistance."
They conspired against us from Day-1
Haniya gave a detailed account of American and Israeli conspiracies against the Palestinian government immediately after Hamas won the legislative elections in January, 2006. He cited several components of an American-backed plan to topple Hamas and thwart the results of the elections, including the following:
First, economic strangulation imposed by the US, Europe and enforced by Israel and some surrounding Arab states.
Second, crippling the newly elected Palestinian legislative council by abducting and imprisoning 45 lawmakers, including 40 from Hamas. The Israeli measures, said Haniya, coincided with efforts from "the inside" to cripple the council.
Third, the internal rebellion took several expressions, including disempowering the government and stripping it of many key powers, placing obstacles in the face of the government and generating lawlessness, insecurity and trouble. It was a systematic and well-planned rebellion.
Fourth, supplying the treasonous faction within Fatah with arms and money through (General Keith) Dayton. We know that these arms were being sent to Gaza , sometimes openly and sometimes secretly. These weapons foretold us that something was being hatched against the Palestinian people.
Haniya said a close official affiliated with Fatah intimated to him that the Americans didn't want Hamas to stay in power. "They wanted us out, by whatever means necessary."
Haniya said the government resisted because "we are not entrusted with a seat, or an authority, or a legislative council. "We are entrusted with the Palestinian cause. This is why we resisted, and withstood all the pressure, we didn't budge, we didn't give in, we said repeatedly we shall not sell out the rights of our people, because we are servants of the Palestinian people.
Haniya said there was a faction within Fatah that viewed the Makka Agreement as a passing episode, not as an abiding agreement that ought to be respected and implemented. "The Americans and the British didn't accept the Makka Agreement, and from the very beginning, they sought to foil it by arming and financing the treasonous faction. "As soon as we returned from Makka , the problems appeared again. Arms were being admitted to Gaza, incitement against us was everywhere, and every kind of provocation was created against us. Frictions here and there, roadblocks and checkpoints in the streets? So, we asked, is this what we agreed upon in Makka?
"These things were moving toward the explosion point.
"I sent a confidential letter to President Abbas, detailing to him what was happening. I informed him that serious things were being planned and that this would have grave consequences on Palestinian national unity and our people's interests.
"Soon, everything was becoming chaotic. General strikes reappearing. Well, who stood behind these strikes? It was those who wanted to bring the government down. "So, the strikes continued and no dialogue over reforming and restructuring the PLO took place. Effectively, the Makka Agreement was deactivated at the hands of the treasonous faction.. and then they attacked my home with anti-armor grenades.
The Dayton plan
Haniya spoke elaborately about the Dayton plan, saying that $80 million were allocated to effect it in order to bring the Hamas-led government and later on, the national unity government, down. Haniya said the Dayton plan aimed at foiling our efforts to reform the security agencies. "When we tried to reform the security agencies, the situation exploded in our faces.
"In short, they wanted to exclude and remove Hamas, at any price, including a bloody civil war.
The problem is not with Fatah
Haniya stressed that the problem was not between Hamas and Fatah. "The problem is with a certain faction within Fatah which has come to control Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, a faction that used American money and arms and backing to bully and destroy the legitimate Palestinian government, all in order to serve Israeli interests.
"We have uncovered many proofs and evidence revealing the magnitude of harm these people would have wreaked on the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people. "I am sure that when we expose these documents, many people will be shocked by the audacity of these elements.
PLO Central Council
Haniya castigated the PLO Central and National Councils, accusing the Palestinian Authority leadership of using them as rubber stamps to effect certain policies and decisions that are detrimental to the Palestinian people's interests. "I can't understand why they are invoking the Central Council whenever they want and forget about it whenever they want. "Is the Central council invoked only when the PA wants to give Israel concessions at our people's expense? "Why didn't the Council convene when our people were languishing under this harsh siege? "Why didn't it meet to discuss the abduction of our lawmakers and cabinet ministers by Israel? "Why didn't it convene when Yasser Arafat was murdered? "Why didn't it convene to discuss the tragedy of our people at the Nahr al Bared refugee camp? "Why didn't it convene when Ahmed Yasin and Yasser Arafat were murdered by Israel?
"Why did it only meet to revoke the Palestinian National Charter and dissolve the legitimate democratically-elected government?
Haniya scoffed at those who accuse Hamas of carrying out a coup against legitimacy?
"How can we carry out a coup against ourselves. We are part of the Palestinian legitimacy. We earned our people's confidence and trust through the ballot boxes. How can a person turn against himself?
Haniya stressed that the Ramallah-based "emergency government" headed by Salam Fayyadh was illegal and unlawful and that the Gaza-based government was the legitimate government. He said that in the Palestinian Basic Law there was no such a thing as "emergency government."
Haniya dismissed as "disinformation" claims by Israel and the Fatah organization that Hamas was going to establish an Islamic emirate or a Taliban-like state in Gaza . "Gaza is an integral part of Palestine and Gazans are an integral part of the Palestinian people."
He accused Abbas and the treasonous faction of making decisions and issuing executive orders that would consolidate the "separation of Gaza."
Finally, Haniya lashed out at the PA for allowing "this pornographic breakdown of law and order in the West Bank."
Haniya was referring to the bloody and violent rampage by Fatah thugs against Hamas activists, homes, and businesses."